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The Fourth Philippic   


but for a state, which every aspirant for the empire of Greece has
deemed to be alone capable of opposing him, and defending the liberty of
all--for such a state! verily her marketable commodities are not the
test of prosperity, but this--whether she can depend on the good-will of
her allies; whether she is puissant in arms. On behalf of such a state
these are the things to be considered; and in these respects your
condition is wretched and deplorable. You will understand it by a simple
reflection. When have the affairs of Greece been in the greatest
confusion? No other time could any man point out but the present. In
former times Greece was divided into two parties, that of the
Lacedaemonians and ours: some of the Greeks were subject to us, some to
them. The Persian, on his own account, was mistrusted equally by all,
but he used to make friends of the vanquished parties, and retain their
confidence, until he put them on an equality with the other side; after
which those that he succored would hate him as much as his original
enemies. Now however the king is on friendly terms with all the Greeks,
though least friendly with us, unless we put matters right. Now too
there are protectors [Footnote: This is said with some irony: many
states offer to come forward as protectors, but only on condition of
taking the lead: they will not join the common cause on fair terms. Many
of the translations miss the sense here. Leland understands it rightly:
"there are several cities which affect the character of guardians and
protectors." Auger confounds this sentence with the next: "il s' eleve
de tous cotes plusieurs puissances qui aspirent toutes a la primaute."]
springing up in every quarter, and all claim the precedency, though some
indeed have abandoned the cause, or envy and distrust each other--more
shame for them--and every state is isolated, Argives, Thebans,
Lacedaemonians, Corinthians, Arcadians, and ourselves. But, divided as
Greece is among so many parties and so many leaderships, if I must speak
the truth freely, there is no state whose offices and halls of council
appear more deserted by Grecian politics than ours. And no wonder; when
neither friendship, nor confidence, nor fear leads any to negotiate with
us.

This, ye men of Athens, has come not from any single cause, (or you
might easily mend it,) but from a great variety and long series of
errors. I will not stop to recount them, but will mention one, to which
all may be referred, beseeching you not to be offended, if I boldly
speak the truth.

Your interests are sold on every favorable opportunity: you partake of
the idleness and ease, under the charm whereof you resent not your
wrongs; while other persons get the reward. [Footnote: Schaefer rightly
explains [Greek: _timas_] to mean the price received for treason.
But most of the translators, following Wolf, understand it to mean the
honors won by Philip. [Greek: _Tois adikousin_] is rendered by
Auger, Leland, and Francis, "the traitors." I think it rather refers to,
or at least includes, the enemies who profited by the treason, and made
conquests from Athens: of course meaning Philip in particular.] Into all
these cases I could not enter now: but when any question about Philip
arises, some one starts up directly and says--"We must have no trifling,
no proposal of war"--and then goes on to say--"What a blessing it is to
be at peace! what a grievance to maintain a large army!"--and
again--"Certain persons wish to plunder the treasury"--and other
arguments they urge, no doubt, in the full conviction of their truth.
[Footnote: There is no difficulty in this, if we understand it to be
ironical; and no need of any amendment.] But surely there is no need of
persuading you to observe peace, you that sit here persuaded already. It
is Philip (who is making war) that needs persuasion: prevail on him, and
all is ready on your part. We should consider as grievous, not what we
expend for our deliverance, but what we shall suffer in case of refusal.
Plunder of the treasury should be prevented by devising a plan for its
safe custody, not by abandoning our interests. Yet this very thing makes
me indignant, that some of you are pained at the thought of your

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